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 Whitehall Acquires 130 Hotels from the Tharaldson Family for $1.2 Billion; 
Tharaldson Property Management Inc. Will to Continue
as Manager of Properties
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New York, New York, May 10 2006  — The Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds (Whitehall) today announced that it had recently acquired 130 hotels from the Tharaldson family in a transaction spearheaded by Gary Tharaldson. Mr. Tharaldson founded Tharaldson Motels Inc., the nation’s largest independent hotel management and development company. 

Whitehall closed on the $1.2 billion acquisition of the family-owned hotels on March 31, 2006. The assets are well-located throughout the United States and, in most cases, represent the strongest branded hotels in each market. Whitehall looks forward to continuing to grow this portfolio through strategic acquisitions and improved performance. Tharaldson Property Management Inc., an affiliate of Tharaldson Motels, Inc., will continue to manage the 130 hotels acquired by Whitehall, in addition to its own chain of approximately 200 limited service hotels.

"We are delighted to add these 130 hotels to the Whitehall portfolio and to be initiating a relationship with Tharaldson Property Management. Their team is among the best hotel management groups that we’ve come across in the industry," stated Stuart Rothenberg, a Managing Director of the Goldman Sachs & Co. and the Head of the Real Estate Principal Investment Area which manages Whitehall.

Tharaldson Property Management Inc., which has been managing limited service hotels since 1982 and is based in Fargo, ND, will continue to be the nation’s largest independent hotel management company. Tharaldson Property Management presently employs more than 7,000 individuals and manages 350 hotels (25,984 rooms) in 36 states. 

A team at Countrywide Commercial Real Estate Finance Inc., led by Warren de Haan, provided advice to Gary Tharaldson and the rest of the Tharaldson family on the sale of the portfolio. 

The Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds are Goldman, Sachs & Co.’s primary real estate investment vehicle. Goldman Sachs manages Whitehall and is also Whitehall’s largest investor. Since 1991, Whitehall has invested approximately $14 billion of equity in real estate and other derivative investments with a gross cost basis of approximately $85 billion. Its investments have been made in 21 countries and include interests in real estate assets, portfolio companies, non-performing loans, mezzanine loans and other related products.
 

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Contact:

Ed Essa – VP of Corporate Communications
Countrywide Financial Corporation
(818) 874-8708

Cynthia Pharr
C. Pharr and Co.
972.931.7576 ext. 24

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Also See: Investment Group Acquires the 548 room Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua; $40 million Renovation Planned / March 2006
The Opening of Five Hotels Will Double the Number of Rooms in Rancho Cucamonga, California / November 2005


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